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Comments (80)

Most Helpful
Dec 22, 2020 - 2:30pm

I think you have to come to terms with the fact that a lot of people on here are very insecure. So naturally, they need to put the blame on someone.

They didn't get hired? It was definitely the diversity kid that took their positions. Hard interviews? They saved the easy question for the diversity kid.

That sort of thing.

I'm going to get lots of MS but that's just the hard truth. Fragile egos everywhere. It's stiffling.

Dec 23, 2020 - 11:55pm

I think your general sentiment is correct.... but a bit misguided. Of course people will want to pass the blame onto others, that is human nature.

Sincere question though, is the optics of the situation more to blame? I understand the idea behind diversity hire programs and that the intention is well and good. But it sends the message that you are speaking out against. 

Thomas Sowell had a great lecture regarding a similar matter, affirmative action. Please give a watch. 

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Dec 22, 2020 - 2:31pm

1) They possible found your username on WSO and thought you are on a diversity program

2) How do you "know" they are seeing you as a diversity candidate? Like, during lunch, are they asking you "hey mate, are you our diversity candidate?"

3) Some people just assume that BAME colleagues got in through these programmes, although it is not the case.

edit: so OP changed his username and edited his entire post. I think he was also found out by someone who knows him in person.

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Dec 22, 2020 - 2:52pm

People on this site don't work as hard as they like to believe they do. Sure, they had strong academic, but so did millions more who simply chose not to go into finance. So, they believe everyone had a similar easy path who are working in finance now. All they needed was a racist label like "diversity program" to attack people of a different racial background. I'm oversimplifying and debasing, but so do those posters.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Dec 22, 2020 - 3:12pm

good shit kid. this is in my opinion why diversity hiring is stupid. It only rewards diverse candidates who are subpar. however when it comes to extremely successful candidates like yourself who also happen to be from a diverse background, people overlook your achievements for your background. Someone like yourself should know that you were hired because you kick ass, not have doubts that you were a sympathy hire.

That being said, all you can do is ignore the others. You know you're successful, it's up to you to retain that confidence for work. In the end of the day, you're in control of your mind so fuck the noise and hone in on your on mission. congrats again on the successes

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Dec 22, 2020 - 3:34pm

Averages. Given how diversity programs are set up, people assume diversity candidates are less qualified until proven otherwise, because many (most?) are. It's the same as anything else. We evolved to use stereotypes as heuristics to simplify the world.

It sucks for the actually qualified diverse candidates. In the same way, I assume that Asian males are overqualified, because they usually are. This means I probably overestimate some Asian males who aren't.

Dec 23, 2020 - 5:56am

But that's the thing. People automatically assume all non-white male candidates got in through diversity programmes. 

Many of us didn't. We got in the same way as you - by clicking apply. And why do you automatically assume that many or most diverse candidates are less qualified? Is it personal experience? Or do you just hear what you choose to hear?

I'm genuinely curious as to what automatically makes you think this. Because people being less qualified never really have much to do with diversity or not. People slip through. "Non-diverse" candidates slip through as well.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Dec 23, 2020 - 1:48pm

I really can't explain this beyond averages. Sure, many diversity candidates got in not using the programs, but many (most?) used the programs. All else equal, diversity candidates are less qualified on average. This isn't really debatable. When I find out a kid is the son of a F500 CEO, I also assume he is less qualified, because he likely is.

If I saw an NBA team warming up for a game and I had no idea who the players were, I'd assume the tallest guy probably can't shoot 3's as well as the shortest guy. Is that necessarily true? No, there are some 7 footers who can shoot 3's and some point guards who can't. But the average 3 point percentage of guys who are 6'0" is way higher than the average 3 point percentage of guys who are 7'0", which makes sense because 7 footers have other advantages so they don't need as good of a shot to still make it into the NBA. We all make these types of assumptions all the time, whether we're aware of them or not.

In terms of personal experience, I have found diversity kids to be less qualified on average, yes. There are still some that kill it, but the percentage is lower than for non diversity.

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Dec 23, 2020 - 6:21am

This is exactly what happens when you strongly distort the process in favour of some candidates for "diversity". You get the exact opposite of inclusion, because the type A people in this industry will always have the thought in the back of their heads that you got in jumping the queue. My girlfriend is an IB analyst at a BB, she is top of her class, but sometimes is still insecure due to these distortions. The whole "diversity" thing is like creating parks for native americans, you are not really solving the problem

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Dec 23, 2020 - 2:51pm

You have hit the nail on the head. Places like Gs are like creating a park of black individuals to say 'hey look at us we are diverse' and instead it is creating mass hate towards the individuals. As bad as it is as a white person who has had to grind my ass off, my views have become a lot more hateful due to these diverse programmes.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Dec 22, 2020 - 3:38pm

Hey, don't let yourself think that. You must have an amazing attitude to have gotten this far, and that's what will continue to propel you forward.

As others mentioned, everyone is insecure. Even minorities may make incorrect assumptions about people who come off as privileged without realizing the hardships that person may have actually grown up with. No one actually knows who started out further ahead on the race track when it comes down to judging other people as individuals.

Also, young graduates mistakenly view the job selection process as a meritocracy. It is not. A good bank - and any company - will want a good team. Would a bunch of ex prep school guys at Harvard with 4.0s make a good team? Maybe but maybe not. They might clash heads, they might all be perfectionists (not always helpful!) and as a group they may hold certain assumptions that hinder their analyses and connections with clients. Same would go for a group of minority women from a similar region with similar life views. Diverse groups are likely to outperform- this has been shown in multiple studies. And that's what banks care about. Their team, not the individual. And of course, diversity comes in many forms.

So hey, even if that's why you were recruited... so what? You're likely making the team stronger. If we all focused on how we add to collective goals not on whether a company's scorecard is placing us "on top", the world would be a better place.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Dec 22, 2020 - 3:40pm

Basically, there are so many qualified candidates out there that once you meet the benchmark it comes down to how you contribute to the group. Tough pill to swallow for some!

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Dec 22, 2020 - 3:44pm

Who cares? I'm from a diversity background too with strong experience. Do I get interviews easier than my peers who are white and not diverse? You bet. Is it because I have a strong background or is it because I am diverse? Who knows. Do I wonder if I got a few offers because I'm diversity and firms need to fill their quotas (especially for the sell side because imo the buyside only wants people who can make money for them regardless of what they look like)? It might well be the case. It doesn't matter. What matters is that you got the internship, and your knowledge and work ethic will speak for itself after you start. 

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Dec 22, 2020 - 3:56pm

If you are at the biggest bank on the street, and I think we all know which one you are referring to, it doesn't help that they are known for having a large proportion of diversity spring interns. The spring application process is random (most people don't have too much experience at this stage so everyone's profile is more or less similar), and people were disgruntled it was impossible for them to get in, so not surprised if that perception is carrying over to SA/FT.

Dec 23, 2020 - 7:10am

that's what I asked further up and I got MS for it? I really don't think people IRL would ask a colleague whether they are a diversity hire. that wouldn't happen, especially in London.

Controversial
Dec 23, 2020 - 8:03am

Because white supremacy can only thrive on black inferiority. Basically, the on and off racists who fancy themselves as neutral (the "facts over feelings" ben shapiro crowd) who really are racists and deep down, feel as though they are automatically better-than/above you due to their race/skin color can only feel good about themselves when they say stuff like that. Simply put, it helps with the pain that a brown/black dude/girl you thought you were better than has accomplished something you've not, couldn't, or have imposter syndrome about. Firms like JPMC making way to canceling networking completely when applying for jobs and instead opting to a hireview structure that selects your resume based on AI feels like "oppression" to those who are used to getting by on "legacy admissions" and family/friend connections here and there. They need to make you feel worse about yourself to come to terms with their reality and non/missed-accomplishments. A lot of those types of people score 0% in emotional intelligence, 0% on empathy, have no social skills outside their frat bros group, and grew up with a superiority complex.

As a black dude myself who often times in my college was the only black dude in these high finance programs and organizations, that was my reality. I've had people fill me in that so and so said they felt threatened by my presence. Whatever tf that means. I'm not at a target uni but my gpa is almost 4.0 (top of all my classes), numerous past ib internships under my belt, executive in several organizations at my school yet I know when I do start FT next year, there are going to be those who look at me as, and back chat me as the diversity candidate. Such is life. You encounter racists in all forms of life. It is what it is. The best thing you can do is to do well in your internship, and get the return offer. Fuck those people. Don't let them destroy your confidence as they would like to. Don't let them win.

Dec 23, 2020 - 8:34pm

This is laughably stupid.  No one is saying black people aren't just as capable as whites, besides the people who created the diversity programs, which by definition are racist.  Don't you find the lower expectation to be a bigoted way of thinking (same with affirmative action)?  Whats wrong with a level playing field?  This post shows your own insecurity with your own race that you are trying to project on others by assuming their racist for questioning illogical nonsense that SJWs pontificate.  Also I guarantee no one has ever come up to you at uni and said I feel threatened by your presence in finance courses due to you being black.  You're being ridiculously hyperbolic to support a nonsensical lie you were sold.  You're absolutely right that people will just assume youre a diversity candidate which is bullshit but people assume that because urm's are often less qualified diversity hires.  If you don't believe that you're lying to yourself.  

Dec 24, 2020 - 10:25am

"mwah, anyone who calls me on my nonsense and lies is a racist pig!" You sound like an entitled child who has no valid argument. What is racist about judging people on their skills and intellectual capability instead of their skin color? Insecurities are based in reality.  Why do you think fat people are anxious about taking their shirt off at the pool? (hint- it is because they are fat)  You are the one who sounds like a racist who blames their failures on "white supremacy" when you probably are just not as talented as you think you are.  Most people are pretty nice to eachother regardless of pigmentation and there is an abundance of opportunity for everyone regardless of color.  And you flat out lied that someone came up to you and said they feel threated by your presence in a finance class due to you being black.  The student who said that would be expelled and ostracized from society (as they should be). So keep calling everyone racist, I'm sure that will do you wonders in the long run

  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Cov
Dec 26, 2020 - 8:19am

These diversity programs exist because of people like you. If you don't wanna see them on company websites, maybe start with your own attitude?

If you think that the racism black people in high finance/careers face is of obvious/in-your-face nature, you are not paying attention. It`s more because of missing similarities in background, lesser academic/career background of parents and different areas of living that makes it harder for black people to "click" during recruiting. Diversity recruiting can give you this supportive surrounding which "can" help progressing through the process. Not knowing how to prononouce my name, assuming different gender, being mistaken for backoffice or kitchen/conference service, the list goes on :)

I don't wanna defend this system but instead of hating around, what is your solution to problems like this and their underlying idiosyncrasies?

Believe me, I am also looking forward to a world where the word "diversity" is gone because skin color and differences are not a topic anymore :)

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Dec 23, 2020 - 9:00am

I am certain I know who this is. PK? No one has ever looked at you as a diversity recruit. You have played national level football, secured top internships, brilliant academics and are very deserving of landing the internship at the top bank.

That being said. Many banks aren't helping with the image of the BAME population. This year I haven't seen one white person get a spring or summer at any of the top firms and I saw countless black people with poor academics land IBd summers. One girl at Bham with BbB a level landed JP IBD. That's not exactly helping the whole idea of 'diverse recruits'.

Also I understand what you say about white people but I also know many white individuals with great profiles who have had no luck whatsoever.

I do think being black helps in the current climate but I don't think your profile makes people think you are a token.

Just focus on lightening up and be happy for the journey you're on!

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Dec 23, 2020 - 9:00am

I am certain I know who this is. PK? No one has ever looked at you as a diversity recruit. You have played national level football, secured top internships, brilliant academics and are very deserving of landing the internship at the top bank.

That being said. Many banks aren't helping with the image of the BAME population. This year I haven't seen one white person get a spring or summer at any of the top firms and I saw countless black people with poor academics land IBd summers. One girl at Bham with BbB a level landed JP IBD. That's not exactly helping the whole idea of 'diverse recruits'.

Also I understand what you say about white people but I also know many white individuals with great profiles who have had no luck whatsoever.

I do think being black helps in the current climate but I don't think your profile makes people think you are a token.

Just focus on lightening up and be happy for the journey you're on!

Dec 23, 2020 - 12:30pm

Diversity recruiting is stupid (myself being Hispanic). Diversity recruiting is intended for people who have sought difficulties in life to overcome a path in finance from a low income background or lack of opportunities. Mainly Hispanics and Blacks lead in these categories which is why diversity recruiting existed.

However, people take advantage of these programs and you have minorities who are rich and privileged and get in the program. This means that a white person who came from a low income background/no connections is more underrepresented than the minority who is rich and his parents provided everything. Diversity recruiting shouldn't be about color of your skin, ethnicity or gender but rather the person itself of where they come from: if we fix this first then we can prioritize top candidates from these programs. I think this is reason why some people on this website hate diversity students. Anybody who makes a superday in diversity recruiting def deserves a spot bc they proved they are top talent bc thousands still apply to diversity programs and HR still picks the best candidate students.

Dec 23, 2020 - 12:48pm

Miggle

However, people take advantage of these programs and you have minorities who are rich and privileged and get in the program. T

So have we ran the numbers on this or are we just going off the anecdotal stories posted on WSO

"Markets can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent."

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  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Dec 23, 2020 - 2:31pm

I know who wrote this. You're smart but you're not better than your white counterparts lol? You don't even study pure haha. What do you expect people to say when you got in via a diversity programme (MTP GS). Get a life and stop moaning.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Dec 23, 2020 - 5:16pm

Getting a job as a diversity hire is WAY easier than getting hired normally, so whether you are qualified or not, you can thank the bank's braindead HR department for making it this way

Dec 23, 2020 - 7:31pm

Not trying to be a dick but if you feel this way personally, then there is probably a reason.  URM's are judged against other URM's not judge against whites/asians/indians.  Anyone who tells you otherwise is either a URM or a politician.  Its the same reason POC women can get into HBS with 625 GMAT but Indian males need a 770

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Dec 24, 2020 - 2:17am

Who's this Oxford 7 offers dosser? If you brag about your offers irl as much as you do on here, should be easy for whichever EB you signed with to find out who you are, trash talking diversity candidates with blanket statements. Good luck with the return offer.

  • Intern in IB - ECM
Dec 24, 2020 - 4:40am

Fwiw SEO is fairly useless. Didn't land a single offer through them but got a few EB offers. 

Saw they are growing their list of partner firms this year. Unsure whether this is good or bad. If they partner with more EBs and if I apply next year perhaps I wouldn't get the EB offers at all. 

  • Investment Analyst in PE - LBOs
Dec 24, 2020 - 10:18am

OP - the reason why is that it is likely unfair.

The current definition of diversity (and the whole "diversity industry"), in my opinion, do not take into consideration class diversity. A white male from blue collar background from Alabama is likely a lot more "diverse" and has faced much more hardship than a middle-class URM by ethnicity. What about immigrant kids whose parents are not even integrated into societies, if they are not URM by ethnicity? likely they faced much more challenges than middle-class URMs as well.

Until the diversity industry starts to be willing to be fair and consider these factors, it's hard to convince people this system is fair.

Dec 24, 2020 - 10:23pm

This is a difficult thing to grapple with. On one hand, it is notably easier to get a foot in the door as a diversity candidate. This holds true in IB and buyside recruiting, undergrad and grad school admissions, and probably every other hurdle standing in the way of success through modern institutions.

On the other hand, the reality is that many people are able and qualified to work in IB. It does not require a stratospheric IQ, superhuman physical strength, or anything else that would sufficiently narrow the pool to the point where people can be selected purely based on "merit", whatever that means. Especially for a very first job, which a summer analyst role is, any factor you would use to assess a candidate's merit is silly above some baseline level of qualification. No one who has actually worked at an investment bank will say that the 3.8 GPA people have markedly better technicals than the 3.7 GPA people, or that the kids who played a sport had more stamina on the job than the bookworms, or that the Ivy League kids were all superior writers to the state school kids. This is all a long way of saying: You are qualified to do the job, and if you weren't, you wouldn't have been selected. Now that you're here, put in 100% your summer and people won't have a choice but to respect you.

By the way, it is total BS that people would look at you and not give you a fair shot. After all, for every diversity candidate, there's someone who got the spot because they had the right last name, dad's a client, etc. Funny how the people who are bitter about diversity candidates never have much to say about that.

  • Investment Analyst in PE - LBOs
Dec 25, 2020 - 8:30am

I think people understand that nepotism is a sin that human soceity can not get rid off - URMs practice nepotism too, they are not mutually exclusive. Now, in addition to nepotism, there has been added another arbitrary barrier to people based on factors they don't control, which is discrinimation in itself.

Dec 26, 2020 - 4:23am

I would add I do think social class plays a bigger role than diversity in terms of UK banking recruitment. Being diverse candidate but having a private education (I include all public schools not just the top ones Harrow/Eton/Benenden etc) does invaluably give a real leg up vs the state-school working class white student - for which the balance is not there I think in terms of hires esp at the spring week level. 

I take my example as a "black" student where my background as a state school, home county student where I am neither working class or upper middle class means I would say I do get overlooked a bit more vs diversity students at the outliers (for which I mean diverse but attended a top public schools or diverse but from a truly working class/low socioeconomic background). I do think this nuance does get a bit loss as the debate does just revolve around ethnicity. 

Further to add when at an interview/AC it is down to yourself to perform and regardless of your background/ethnicity/social class if you a good enough at that stage you will get through !

Dec 26, 2020 - 4:55pm

You can either try to fight it or consider that you might really be a diversity hire. Both are possible. I'm a minority and I have already seen a few instances of serious diversity hires that would have otherwise been fired. Hard to tell for others, but you could prove yourself. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Dec 26, 2020 - 6:58pm

Does anyone considered "Diverse" feel like an impostor at sometimes? I am from Mexico City with parents who moved to the U.S when I was 16. I am a tall blonde dude with blue eyes but am more culturally latin than american (Spanish is my native tongue and Mexico is where I have lived my entire life). I did not apply to anything using diversity and was hired as an SA  and converted to FT. Now employed, I was directly told by my BB that because of my "Diverse background" I was going to represent the BB at some conference and be a part of different organizations like SEO.

I feel like an impostor because I feel weirded out by going to a diversity event as a speaker and being the most white ass dude there but being the most "diverse" in background. As in, even though someone may look "diverse", I am more "diverse" than them but everyone assumes I am a midwestern white dude. I dont know if any other "Whitexicans" experience this, but to me it just goes to show how some firms are "virtue signalling" they are not racist by hiring someone based on their skin color and not their true background. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Dec 27, 2020 - 6:24pm

I am not forced to attend. I like helping others so do not mind going to these talks and conferences which is essentially speaking to undergrads and helping them out by answering questions.

  • Principal in HF - EquityHedge
Dec 27, 2020 - 4:28pm

Anonymous Monkey

Does anyone considered "Diverse" feel like an impostor at sometimes? I am from Mexico City with parents who moved to the U.S when I was 16. I am a tall blonde dude with blue eyes but am more culturally latin than american (Spanish is my native tongue and Mexico is where I have lived my entire life). I did not apply to anything using diversity and was hired as an SA  and converted to FT. Now employed, I was directly told by my BB that because of my "Diverse background" I was going to represent the BB at some conference and be a part of different organizations like SEO.

I feel like an impostor because I feel weirded out by going to a diversity event as a speaker and being the most white ass dude there but being the most "diverse" in background. As in, even though someone may look "diverse", I am more "diverse" than them but everyone assumes I am a midwestern white dude. I dont know if any other "Whitexicans" experience this, but to me it just goes to show how some firms are "virtue signalling" they are not racist by hiring someone based on their skin color and not their true background. 

Nice. I think u guys r called castizos? Just enjoy the resource extraction I guess.

  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Cov
Dec 28, 2020 - 11:28am

Wouldn't care too much about people thinking you're a diversity hire. Plenty of opportunities to prove people wrong once you show great performance from day 1 on. Most people complaining about it and calling it a rigged system don't think of all the other fun stuff you face as a black person (racism, mobbing in school, racial profiling, weird assumptions, etc.). Not snowflaking or btching around, but that's the reality when growing up in a rural area.

I have witnessed that it's only HR, Marketing or underperformers that make a topic out of it. Blaming the system or others and not yourself first just doesn't strike me as a mindset that sets you up for long-term success. Just my humble, junior opinion.

Lots of people, even more so amongst prospects (guess why), out there think they could be Henry Kravis if they were born as a non-straight black woman. Even IF diversity hiring would be an easy feat, it's for sure not gonna be more than 5% getting their offer like this. IB/PE and other high finance jobs are just super saturated with tons of razor-sharp prospects! We all knew right from the start the numbers are naturally against us, right?

TL;DR: Come on guys, do you really think that the GS analyst class of 2030 will only be black people, LGBTQ+s, women and maybe 5% white males?

Dec 28, 2020 - 4:47pm

not 5%, maybe 20%

Minimum 50% intake will be female, some non-white/LGBT/low socioeconomic males and some non-diverse candidates... 20% is a reasonable number 

Not just HR, Marketing or underperformers make a topic out of diversity - in my target school + incoming grad class, everyone talks about it pretty openly - the general consensus is diversity recruiting achieves none of its intended aims, allows subpar candidates chances other people would only dream of, makes recruiting disproportionately harder for everyone else - it's full of crap. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jan 2, 2021 - 10:31am

Even 20% is more than one single person and leaving yourself enough leeway to secure an offer. You're are at a target, correct? So you incredibly far ahead of the majority!

Maybe it's different here in Europe, but I've seen tons of pretty gifted "diversity" candidates. Not sure though if diversity recruiting fixes its intended problems but it's not been around for long, so it's more likely that all of us can assess the use of it way better in like 10 years or so?

In my opinion, it's taken a step into the right direction recently with focussing on more than female candidates only. Who knows, maybe it'll become even better over the next few years?

Dec 28, 2020 - 1:25pm

Most people fail to acknowledge other socioeconomic factors that truly bar people from entering high finance.

A "diverse" candidate at an Ivy will have an easier time networking and getting recruited than someone who attends a non-target. 

Stronger diversity would come from opening up recruitment to other schools outside of the usual suspects. If you have a non-white male who went to Harvard and/or prep school they will most likely still bring a similar, if not the same, perspective. There are amazing schools all around but most firms refuse to recruit from them. This is not to diminish anyone's accomplishments but attending a target school gives a minute look into what that person will contribute aside from the standard cookie cutter mold.

I am a Black female btw and I definitely think it is incontrovertible finance is pretty homogenous but I think the bigger root of the problem is the tunnel vision when it comes to what colleges candidates are recruited from.

Also geography and parents background plays a part too. I am from DC. All of our parents work in government and that's what we are encouraged to pursue. Most of my high school classmates all work in government. I was not exposed to finance culture until I moved to NYC. So I had to play extreme catch-up. I think more firms should create high school educational programs, mentorship and classes for high school students outside of NYC, so that they get more diverse candidates interested at younger ages. It will also give them more name recognition and show them the many job functions needed in finance. 

I guess diversity hiring is a step in a somewhat thoughtful yet unsustainable direction but placing less emphasis on Ivy or Ivy-adjacent hiring is what will really bring true diverse perspectives. 

Dec 29, 2020 - 1:49pm

I would agree with this take. Diversity these days I think is less an issue of people being able to clear the first-round screen, and much more an issue of pipeline and retention. The focus should be on educating candidates from underrepresented backgrounds on the career opportunities available in finance, and ensuring then that strong performers from these backgrounds are sufficiently supported so that they stay in the industry and climb to more senior ranks.

Dec 28, 2020 - 1:28pm

Also every day a new diversity thread is written but I doubt a nepotism candidate is getting passed over for someone in a diversity pool......

It kind of is what it is at the end of the day. Does it make it right? No. But you have to confident in your abilities and what you bring to the table. Your self-worth should not be attached to these jobs anyway. To lose sleep over it, is counterproductive to your life journey 

Dec 28, 2020 - 3:49pm

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